Early Adoption – iPad

consumerism, good design, Industrial Design, Marketing, user interface design

As much as I’d like to get excited about the iPad I am trying to wait and see. Several times a year new gadgets are released and people go gaga over the potential they offer, rush out and purchase them, then lament the flaws they discover after using theses as yet untested devices.
As much as companies test their products it’s only in daily use that many flaws can be found. Repetitive daily tasks, various use cases, unusual routines, and mass usage all play out scenarios the manufacturers (and software developers) can’t even imagine. This is the elusive nature of humans and the tools we use.
So here’s the deal with me and the iPad. I want one but I don’t want to figure out all these issues for Apple. I know it will be a good product but I don’t know if it will be good for me. I have specific things I want it to do, but I’m as unique as the next person, and I can’t be sure that there was an engineer with my unique use patterns to play out all the flaws that this device will have for me. I’d love to have a portable sketchpad, movie watcher, note taker. But I don’t know if it will work as a sketchpad for me, it might. So I’ll wait and play and read and let the market solve these problems before I invest in this new technology.

Web design presentation at Taylor Street Elementary

education, Flash, good design, Graphic Design, Sacramento, user interface design, web design, web development

Today I did a presentation on web design and design process to my daughters’ gate classes. It was an exciting opportunity to offer their classes some insight into the exciting world of design and learning new technologies.

So for any of the kids at Taylor Street Elementary reading this… I enjoyed speaking with you today, and look forward to learning with you again.

Sleeping with the enemy – I am running Windows 7

bad design, good design, Microsoft, reliability, review, Uncategorized, user interface design, Vista, Windows, Windows 7

I never thought I’d see the day when I would upgrade past Windows XP, but it is here. Windows 7 RC is nice; it is almost bug free, fairly well organized, supports Direct X 10, and seems to support most of my hardware. Additionally, I felt no growing pains with my current level of RAM, and system resources. It seems to be the best of XP and Vista put together. But here’s the downside…

Handcrafted CSS – and letting go of pixel perfection

bad design, Browsers, CSS, good design, IE, reliability, review, standards, user interface design, web design, web development

Handcrafted CSS Book CoverHandcrafted CSS, the latest contribution of Dan Cederholm to the world of Web Design and Development is a fantastic book! To say that I’m a fan of his work is a bit of an understatement. No web designer or developer should be without these books; Bulletproof Web Design, Handcrafted CSS, as well as Designing With Web Standards, and DOM Scripting. These books are fantastic resources, and push web development out of the dark ages of table based layout, css hacks, and duplicating sites for each browser version. But there is a particular philosophy the makes Handcrafted CSS special.

Wow! I love my iPhone…

blogging, good design, google, review, user interface design

What an amazing tool. The iPhone is such an enabler. I am writing this blog right now from my iPhone. I never would have thought that something like this would be this easy. At this point I can check email, write my blog, keep in touch through IM, social networks, oh and make phone calls.

The one thing I’m learning to appreciate is good design and development. Some of the applications I’m looking at are just not not very well thought out.

The real consideration needs to be me, the end user. What does the customer have to do to accomplish their job? If the developer can’t walk in the user’s shoes more likely than not the product will not do it’s best to aid the user in their task… Doing their job. So does that mean that the developer has not done theirs?

I think this is the challenge that all developers must accept. Their success or failure is in how well the product accomplishes it’s goals. My first goal as a user interface designer is meeting the user where they are, not where I want them to be. Know the task, understand the user, and always strive for the elegant solution.

How have you been?

Scattante, user interface design

For a while there I bet you all thought I’d stopped writing. Yes and no. I had stopped for a bit, but I’m baaaack…

I’ve been really busy with my new position at Pearson. What can I say…I love my job. It’s busy, I work with great people, I’m challenged daily to come up with unique solutions and really pushed to resolve our customers needs to have software that gets out of their way and let them do their jobs. It’s been great working on PowerTeacher Gradebook, PowerSchool and a new product that I’m not sure I can mention at this point. Anyway it’s great work and a lot of fun too.

In follow -up to previous entries, my Truvativ cranks continue to loosen on each ride. I carry an 8mm wrench with me at all times. I’m taking them to Performance tomorrow to talk to them about what they can do for me. It’s a total pain in my heiny.

IMG_9187 On another note I watched the Blue Angels do flybys last weekend and here are some pictures from the event. It was the Capital Airshow at Mather Field in Rancho Cordova.

Where have you been?

Uncategorized, user interface design, web design, web development

Well…to make a long story short I’m a loser. Not in the classical “parental basement dwelling” sense of the word, but in the “I’m neglecting my blog sense”. So here are the updates. I’ve started my new job at a fantastic company Pearson, as the Senior User Interface Designer. I will get to draw on my years of experience with user experience to help push their applications Power Teacher Gradebook, and Power School, to the next level along with a team of talented developers, and product managers. So far its great place to work and great people to work with.

In other news, and I post this with some reluctance, but I’m not given much choice. My wife’s former employer MusicTalk, Inc. has failed to pay my wife’s salary owed for last year. So far they owe us a total of roughly $20,000. We have heard nothing from their CEO Bobbie Brown, or any representatives of the company’s board of directors. We are awaiting the final judgment from the California State Labor Board, and once that is completed they would have 20 days to appeal. Considering that Bobbie didn’t show up to either the conference or the hearing at the Labor Commission I don’t expect that there will be any appeal, or any word from Bobbie Brown or MusicTalk. We will be looking into what our options are at this point. If anyone has information about this agency, or its business dealings please contact me.

I think I picked a fight with Fred Showker

bad design, education, good design, Graphic Design, user interface design, web design, web development

I have participated from time to time on the DT&G forums. Mostly to get feedback on site designs, and to provide suggestions to other designers. I got this flippant comment on my design by somebody named fred. (I didn’t capitalize his name, because he didn’t) I chose to respond, by asking them to back up their claims with examples.

Where is web design today?

bad design, Flash, good design, google, Graphic Design, review, SEO, user interface design, web design, web development

Many people now rely on the web as a source for their lifestyles; research, maps, gossip, movie rentals, shopping. Now that this tool is so heavily used I thought it would be good to think about where it started, and where it is today from a design perspective. In the early days websites were pretty horrible to look at, lots of blinking, flashing things, dancing hamsters, BIG FONTS, red text on black backgrounds etc… (I could go on, but I know some of you are already getting nauseous. Thankfully most of the world wide web has moved past designs like these: